Sabé dreamed of gardening, so vividly that she could smell the rich soil, feel the itch of it on her skin, taste--
Spluttering, she snapped awake and sat up to meet a pair of wide blue eyes twinkling at her from the foot of the bed. Specks of black dotted the unbleached bedlinens between their owner and her, like the proverbial trail of breadcrumbs in the fairytale.
"Ben Jinn Kenobi!" Sabé grimaced at the grit on her lips and put up a hand to wipe it away. "Did you throw dirt on me?"
With his sunny grin, Ben held up pudgy hands, displaying evidence of his toddler mischief, the lines of his palms darkened with potting soil. "Pwant seeds!"
Sabé flopped back on her pillow and met another pair of blue eyes now open beside her, crinkling at the corners with his silent amusement.
"Yes, I did say we'd plant seeds today." She scrubbed a hand across her face, scattering more dirt onto the sheets. "I suppose I ought to have specified after breakfast."
"We can hardly be surprised at his enthusiasm for gardening," Obi-Wan said, "seeing as he sleeps in a cellar garden." He moistened the pad of his thumb on his tongue, swiped it across her cheekbone, then brushed his lips over the same spot. "But Benji," he added, sitting up, "you know you are not supposed to play with any of the gardening equipment."
Ben's round eyes welled at the gentle rebuke, only to light up again as he found himself caught in the arms of his father, who lay back again with the little boy on his chest.
"How did he reach that bag of soil, anyway?" Sabé mused as she lay there with them, combing her fingers through his untidy shock of dark hair. "It was on the top shelf."
Ben bolted upright on Obi-Wan's chest, his own puffing with pride. "I make it fwy!"
Sabé noted her husband's rapid blink. "We can hardly be surprised at his enthusiasm for levitation," she said, "seeing as his father is a Jedi."
While Sabé made breakfast, Obi-Wan went out to tend the eopies and Ben--ostensibly--went along to help. A toddler, in all honesty, was more hindrance than help with milking and mucking, but as days in the desert were long, and more so with a child to keep entertained, nobody truly minded the chores taking more time than they ought to. That might change now that Ben could, apparently, make things fly. Sabé hoped he wouldn't test his abilities on anything unfortunate in the pen or barn. At the same time, she'd be sorry not to see it.
An even better sight, however, was that of Obi-Wan carrying their son back toward the hovel on his shoulders, both wearing grins as bright as the twin suns that rose over the dunes. She glimpsed them through the side windows as she set the table with steaming bowls of oatmeal and muja berry jam made from their own crop.
"I thought Mari Starfall's jam was delicious," Obi-Wan said, hmming after his first bite, "but nothing tastes better than food you've grown yourself."
Sabé had to stop Ben from reaching into his bowl with his hand, closing his fingers around the handle of his spoon instead. "How quickly you've forgotten our first Naboo lettuce crop."
"Pwant seeds!" cried Ben, waving his spoon and flinging oatmeal and jam over his tray.
"It seems after breakfast may prove an unattainable goal," Obi-Wan observed.
"After ours, then," Sabé said.
They wolfed down their oatmeal, then fed Ben as much as they could get him to take--mostly by asking him what they were going to do today, then shoveling spoonfuls in whenever he opened his mouth to reply, Pwant seeds! After a few bites, he caught on, clamped his mouth shut, and refused to answer, kicking his legs and grunting until they wiped the jam off his cheeks and chubby hands and released him from the confines of his chair. He toddled toward the open cellar door, and Sabé hurried after him, catching his hand to help him descend the steps.
She called over her shoulder to Obi-Wan, who'd started to clear the table. "The washing up will keep till later."
"Yes," Obi-Wan agreed, setting the bowls on the kitchen counter on his way to them, "we'll need something to do after we've completed the single task on our to-do list. Even a three-year-old can't make planting seeds take all day."
"We have potting soil to clean up, too," Sabé announced cheerfully as they were greeted by most of the contents of a large bag piled on the cellar rug. And they'd thought it was safe out of reach on the top shelf. "Thank the stars that didn't fall on Ben's head. How does one childproof for Force-sensitive offspring?"
"Send them to the Jedi Temple," replied Obi-Wan softly, with a sad smile as he scooped up Ben, who'd let go of Sabé's hand to run squealing to play in the dirt. Planting a kiss on the dark hair--which he discovered had jam in it--he said, "The potting soil is for planting, not for playing, young one."
"Not for pwaying," Ben echoed, and wagging his forefinger solemnly in imitation of his father.
Sabé stifled a laugh, but Obi-Wan's grin broke free. Together, they cleaned up the mess, which was an agreeable pastime to Ben, for it meant he got to scoop dustpanfuls back into the bag after Obi-Wan swept. When that was finished, Obi-Wan plopped Ben on a stepstool Sabé had pulled up to the workbench, where empty trays were lined up, ready for new seedlings. She handed Ben a child-sized shovel the Starfall children had outgrown--though it wouldn't be too long before their new addition would be ready to help Mari in her cellar garden-and let him fill each tray with soil. He did this quite competently, and managed to cover the workbench with a healthy layer, as well. Then, one at a time, she gave him salthia beans that had soaked overnight to press into the soil, showing him how to place the eyes facing downward. She had to do most of them over.
"Now we must cover them up," Sabé said, moving soil over the first bean. "Gently! Like you're tucking them into their little beds."
"The seeds sweeping?" asked Ben, looking up at her.
Sabé smiled over his head at Obi-Wan. "That's right. They'll grow while they're asleep. Just like you." She tickled him under the armpit as he reached to cover the seeds. His squeal of laughter echoed in the cellar, then he said, "Top it, Mama! Shh! I putting the seeds to bed!"
"Sorry," Sabé whispered.
"But I didn't say anything," Obi-Wan protested in a hushed tone.
The trays of salthia beans were soon sufficiently covered. Ben insisted to be allowed to carry them to their place beneath the grow lights. With some convincing, he allowed Sabé to help.
"Turn off wights?" he asked.
"No," Obi-Wan told him, "unlike you, the seeds need to sleep with the lights on so they can grow big and strong."
Ben stared at the trays beneath the humming grow lights, then waved his hand at them. "Gwow, seeds!"
"It'll take a few days for them to sprout," Sabé said, taking his hand to guide him back upstairs. "Maybe even a whole week."
"Not a whole week!" Ben cried, though he hadn't the faintest idea what that meant.
That evening, when they returned to the cellar at his bedtime, Ben stopped to check the progress of his seeds. "They gwow!"
"I told you, Benji," Sabé said from across the room, where she pulled back the covers of the little bed in the corner by the laundry unit, "they won't sprout for a few days."
"Erm," Obi-Wan said, "you might wish to come re-evaluate that hypothesis."
"Are you barvy?" Sabé asked, joining them. She stopped short at the sight of green poking up through the dark soil, then bent low over the trays, not trusting her eyes.
"Gwow, seeds!" Ben demanded, waving his hand over the trays as he'd done earlier.
"Our son appears to have a natural mastery of plant surge," Obi-Wan said.
After she'd picked her jaw up off the floor, Sabé slipped her arm around his waist. "Well, we can hardly be surprised."